Pastor Osteen and Christian Narcissism: Symptom of a Larger Problem

Daniel B. Wallace

Posted on August 27, 2014 on Youtube was an upbeat little clip from Pastor Osteen in Houston. But not the pastor you are probably thinking of. No, this is not Joel Osteen but his wife and co-pastor, Victoria.

She said with a big smile on her face and with husband Joel standing next to her in nodding approval:

“When we obey God, we’re not doing it for God. I mean, that’s one way to look at it. We’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy. That’s the thing that gives him the greatest joy this morning. So I want you to know this morning, just do good—for your own self. Do good ’cause God wants you to be happy.

When you come to church, when you worship him, you’re not doing it for God really! You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God…

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Challenge or Miracle?

         We are all very familiar with the story of Adam and Eve… today a thought occured to me.  “What would have happened if Adam and Eve, after hearing satans perspective of eating off the tree of good and evil, said, “Well, Serpent, we will talk with God about it tonight on our walk.”  What would have been the outcome???   Before we get too angry with Adam and Eve for not doing the obvious, let’s take a look at our own lives. 

 

         When we became Christians and begin to get to know Jesus,we come to a very simple understanding that all it takes is belief that this man named Jesus is what Scripture says He is.  As we continue our walk in life,  we face struggles, hardships, frustrations and even crisis’ .  I know I did, I know I  have, and I know I will in the future.  During these challenges we face alot of opposition to our faith.  Specifically, thoughts and ideas that are contrary to the way of the Lord, and many times forget to ASK HIM FIRST and embrace the only logical thing that is apparent to us.

 

       Example:  I needed to find a rental house years ago, and nobody would rent to us because we had seven kids, so I lied on my application and got a  house.  That landlord ended up being a nightmare. What would have happened if I took that thought or idea to lie and prayed to God about it and believed He would actually answer me?  Little did I know I would have a “do over” .  I ll explain in a moment.

       

      Could it be that the very place of our challenge is a potential miracle for the purpose of God being recognized/glorified ?  Why would he want to be recognized through my challenge?  BECAUSE… He wants to show us and others He is real, He really hears and wants to be in relationship with us and people just like us.  We pray for miracles but, could it be  our miracles will be found in our challenges if we would only ASK HIM FIRST?  If there were no hardships, there would be no need for miracles!  It isn’t just for your sake the miracle takes place.  Challenges, crisis’ and hard times are a huge part of life for every single person in the world.  What would happen if more believers sought God first by taking every imagination or idea that tries to say it’s better than doing it God’s way, and just said…” Let me ask God first.”?  Wouldn’t God be recognized/Glorified through us? Is it possible that those around us will see the miracle of  believing and walking with Jesus? 

         

       The year was up with our “nightmare landlord” and we tried to find a rental again. This time I purposed to NOT lie on the application.  I didn’t and nobody would rent to us. “Challenge”.  There was that opposing thought,” Lie on the application again or you won’t get a house.”  This time I thought, “No, I’m taking this to God in prayer and He will come through, somehow.”  I gathered the kids in the living room and we prayed.  Later, in prayer,  the Lord said, “Stop looking for a house I have a perfect place for you.” We had no clue, hint or suggestion in any way that  within a month we would be moving into a home out in the country on nearly two acres of land with a creek in the back. PLUS we weren’t renting … we OWNED it.  Yep! I’m so glad I didn’t get in the way of that blessing by lieing to get a rental!   God touched someone’s heart we had never met and he financed the house for us! Unknown to us, we bought this house right before the housing market skyrocketed and two years later sold the house for a great profit.  That’s what happens when you ASK HIM FIRST and choose to disregard  the opposing thoughts of the enemy.

               

          I have, by no means, mastered this.  How I wish every time I am struggling I would remember…  when we have chosen to walk with Christ all we have to do is go to HIM first and believe He does what He says He will! Suddenly, impossibilities become dreams come true! 

 

          I believe it’s possible some of you are up against a rock and a hard place and you may have resources or ideas to make things work they way they need to … Can I offer you a suggestion?  If these ideas are in any way contrary to the life of Christ that you have chosen to live (if this is the case for you) then let those ideas go, ASK GOD FIRST and listen to HIS ideas … I can tell you right now a miracle is just a belief away.    God being known more greatly to those around you is only a prayer away.  Let’s do this thing!

Walking It Out; Restoration

When going through tough times, one of the easiest things to forget is the good that has already been worked out in us.

We tend to define ourselves by those times and the troubles we may be enduring and even get frustrated when others begin to define us by them as well.

Each of us have a piece to offer the environment we are in. The moment we think there is nothing to offer but our brokenness and heartache, that is the moment we begin to forget who we really are and what God has already done in our lives.

I’m not saying don’t offer to God a broken and contrite Spirit. But, when we do, doesn’t he make what we offer to Him whole? When do we start walking in that wholeness? When we are perfect in every area of our lives? Nope! Otherwise we deny the beauty God has worked out in us so far!

Remembering how far He has brought us will give us faith to get through what we are going through now!

Forgetting it, as if He can’t ever change us, is a hopeless place to be that is really founded on lies.

The truth is hard times will never stop coming, but don’t let go of the beauty that has been made from ashes during the process. None of us have arrived or will arrive until we are with Jesus forever, but until then, each of us have areas in our lives God has healed, redeemed and restored!! I believe , with all my heart, that God wants to use our wholeness in whatever area He Has been given the opportunity to heal, for our good and His glory.

So, we must give up the idea that if we aren’t completely perfect then we are completely useless. That is a lie! And for heavens sake, don’t let anyone else convince us of that … whether they do it knowingly or unknowingly.